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Ram Sethu: Govt to approach SC to resume work
September 17, 2007 21:44 IST
The government on Monday night said it will soon approach the Supreme Court to obtain the appropriate orders to resume dredging in Adam's Bridge and was confident that the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project will be completed at the earliest.
Shipping Minister T R Baalu, who is from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, said in a statement that pursuant to the orders passed by the Supreme Court on August 31 and September 14, the work in the Adam's Bridge portion of the Sethusamudram project "has only been stopped".
"The government would soon approach the Supreme Court and obtain appropriate orders to continue working in this region also and is confident of completing the project at the earliest," he said.
Adam Bridge, which is also known as Ram Setu, and an alignment of the project in the southern tip of the country has sparked a political controversy with the BJP and the VHP opposing the project on the ground that it will destroy the mythological bridge with links to Ramayana.
Baalu prefaced his statement saying the work on the 140-year dream project of the Sethusamudram Ship Channel was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on July 2, 2005 and is "under implementation since then".
The DMK leader also sought to disapprove the PIL in the matter by citing a judgment by the apex court in the Narmada Bachao Andolan vs Union of India case in 2000.
He said the apex court had then observed that when such projects are undertaken and hundreds of crores of public money is spent, any individual organisations in the garb of PIL cannot be permitted to challenge the policy decision taken after a lapse of time.
"It is against the national interest and contrary to the established principles of law that decisions to undertake developmental projects are permitted to be challenged after a number of years during which period public money has been spent in the execution of the project," he said quoting the judgment.